F1 attack enforces chauffeur anti-hijack training

Chauffeurs are being urged to step up their security knowledge following the attack on Jenson Button’s vehicle in Brazil.

Jenson was travelling from the Interlagos Circuit back to the Hotel when the attack happened and has since praised his chauffeur, Daniel Toni for barging his way out of the dangerous situation.

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes had provided both Jenson and team-mate Lewis Hamilton with reinforced armoured vehicles with police drivers, who had previously been trained in avoidance
techniques and were also armed.

Three engineers of the Sauber team were also the victims of the carjacking on their way back from the circuit to the hotel on the Saturday evening. They handed over two rucksacks after they were surrounded by armed men.

Institute of Professional Drivers and Chauffeurs (IOPDC) has exclusively told thechauffeur.com it highlighted concerns to Vodafone McLaren Mercedes in September 2008, after former World Champion Lewis Hamilton’s father Anthony was knocked to the ground by waiting fans at Brands Hatch.

Jon Jordan from the IOPDC told us; “The Professional driver was supplied with a Mercedes GL at the time, and apparently reported to IOPDC that there seemed to be insufficient security support, and had to use the vehicle as a form of shield to help prevent the crowds from surging upon Lewis and his father.”

Both the quick thinking and training of the drivers has reinforced the message that chauffeurs should at least have basic anti-hijack training. The message came at a time when the UK’s first chauffeur security qualification was launched, which is being run by industry professionals.

The Edexcel BTEC Level 3 Advanced Award in Security Chauffeuring Accreditation is endorsed by the IOPDC and is being run by the Security Chauffeur College. It is the highest qualification you can receive within the professional driving industry.

Jon added; “With duty of care and corporate responsibilities being paramount, more and more companies will be looking at sending their chauffeurs on the course, and requesting their sub-contractors do the same if they are driving a chairman, CEO or a board of directors.”

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